Thursday, February 01, 2007

Earnings and skin color among immigrants   posted by p-ter @ 2/01/2007 07:02:00 PM

Shelley Batts links to an interesting study looking at skin color and wages among recent immigrants to the US. On a scale of skin color, a single point lighter was good for about a 1% increase in wages, about equivalent to the effect seen for an additional inch of height.

The statistical analysis is pretty standard; nothing atrocious pops out at me (the obvious parameters-- country of origin, ability to speak English, occupation, etc-- were all included in the model), though they didn't control for IQ. But let's assume the effect is real. The hypothesis generally mooted for the association between height or attractiveness and wages passes through some sort of personality effect-- tall people are more confident, or more outgoing, or something along those lines. Is it possible there's a similar thing going on here?

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